Abloy Lock Up Security at Northumbrian Water

Security expert Abloy UK has supplied the Northumbrian Water Group in Durham with high security padlocks and cylinders for 3,000 clean and waste water sites, helping the company upgrade its security systems in line with stringent Government legislation.

The Northumbrian Water Group comprises of both Essex & Suffolk Water and Northumbrian Water, and provides wastewater and sewerage services to the community in the surrounding area, and fresh tap water to over 2.5 million people.

The company has over 3,000 rural assets in remote locations, and the aim of this project was to secure them to the required standard.

Security solutions providers - Lincoln Security and Chelmsford Locksmiths - undertook the installation, fitting over 5,000 units to everything from reservoir hatches to perimeter gates, over a two-year period.

Linnoln Security and Chelmsford Locksmiths initially worked with Northumbrian Water to conduct a survey of all its sites, in order to assess the level of security and number of units needed prior to installation.

Abloy’s PROTEC2 cylinder system was specified as it is specially designed to provide the highest level of security for the most sensitive areas; it offers a patented disc controller structure that requires a moving element in the key.

PROTEC2 also possesses key and key blank patent protection to stop systems becoming compromised through the unauthorised duplication of keys. The patent, which lasts until 2031, is one of the longest in the industry and covers the entire range.

In an ABLOY PROTEC2 locking system, different products can be keyed into the same master key system meaning all products can be operated with just a single key, simplifying the locking system and key management.

In addition, there are 1.97 billion different key combinations providing the possibility to create extensive master key systems that fulfill the exact specifications.

Victoria Jobling, Investment Delivery Project Manager at Northumbrian Water, said: “The Abloy key system allows us to grade keys and control access so that individuals that only need to access certain assets can have a particular level of key, and other employees can have a higher level where required. Other benefits include increased general security, as we can control who can order locks and keys.”

Shaun Henderson, Waste Water Team Leader for Northumbrian Water, added: “Our sites can be out in the middle of nowhere, so security-wise we do get a lot of theft and vandalism. The good thing about the Abloy system is that it is versatile and flexible because we can use the one key for every site we go onto. The locks are also durable and open in all weather conditions.”

Jonathan Burke, Marketing Manager for Abloy UK, added: “Water facilities are notoriously difficult to secure, with perimeter gates and external cabinets requiring padlocks, while cylinders are used on process distribution and storage facilities. The challenge is to maintain access to all these areas without the risk of keys being lost and a system becoming compromised.

“By installing a patent protected masterkey system across the whole estate, this cuts down the number of keys carried by individual employees or contractors, adding convenience without compromising on security.”